Bicycle Theology – Learning Christ Through A Modern Parable – Harold Habecker

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Join us as Dr. Harold Habacker, senior pastor of Dallas Bible
Church, communicates how the parable of the bicycle has become a
penetrating illustration of what it means to follow Christ.


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oh Jesus just wrong to delight to introduce a dear friend who might have known for a number of years in different capacities but probably best as a personal friend and encourage ER in the ministry we have travelled together in Israel and in Jordan we almost got kicked out of Jordan but that was another story but we've had a had a great time together around the world our speaker is dr. haha Becker he has served as the pastor of Dallas bible church for the last 12 years in BBC was started in 1989 to serve the community in the body of Christ across far north dallas it envisions as a church a passionate life transforming community reaching the world for Christ prior to being at DBC dr. ha Becker served for 14 years in the Christian medical and dental society as regional director field staff director and then general director CMDs is a national organization that spearheads a guild church administrative physicians dentists throughout the spiritual disciplines of discipleship and evangelism he also served for five years on the adult ministry staff of the first baptist church of dallas he is why he is here today with his wife Vicki they have three grown children and they reside in Plano Texas Vicki would you stand and let us welcome you would you now welcome my friend and fellow colleague in the ministry dr. Hal ha Becker what an honor to share this pulpit and a bit of my life with you 32 years ago I SAT here for the first time as a first year student those years have gone with me but this and this place has as well I need to think Walt Baker wherever he is a wall introduced me to Dallas seminary I heard of it in Haiti with him for a summer that I spent there in 1972 and in 1973 I came here and I carry my memories of this place with me everywhere I go Tim and I were classmates where's mark Mark's my old racquetball partner you'll hear about him a little bit later in the message what a joy to be here I can't believe the years slipped by so fast two verses are my life versus Psalm 37 Ford delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart i love john piper's statement God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him I had a picture of Mark I mark and I were in Jordan we have a I have a picture of him and me just given the best belly laugh that anybody could ever have we have our turbines on and everything we look just exquisite that's the way I like to pick your life I believe God meant life to be enjoyed to the deepest level the other verse I have is my life versus Colossians 128 we proclaim him admonishing every person and teaching every person so that we may present every person complete in Jesus that is our mission now today I want to speak on the deep topic of bicycle theology I'm sure some of you may have seen that title and say what is this guy some far eastern guy I want to speak on something that is part of my life learning Christ through bicycles I don't know how to encourage you but I pray that it will how many of you have ever ridden a bicycle let me see your hands almost every one of us you know if you lined up all the bicycles in China they would wrap the world 40 times if you line them up end to end billions of bicycles all over the world today there are part of my life I just want to share a little bit of who I am and how God has worked in my life the bicycle is etch deeply in my life it began at the age of six I rode my first bicycle thought I owned the world when I learned it I was flying down a lane between the barn and the home the house where I grew up look mom no hands and about that time my front wheel hit a stone and crash the mark of that crash was that I snapped a front permanent tooth off at the age of six and went from first grade to my junior in high school without a tooth it continues i had a bridge put in there which i carried many many years i was preaching a few years ago and as the air rushes across your tongue and through your teeth out pop my teeth they lay out of the pulpit bounce of the floor I don't think I ever finished my message of that boarding you don't need to worry about that this morning because i get for permanent teeth drilled him to buy upper jaw when i was between my sophomore junior and hikes or college i wrote a bicycle from miami beach to seattle washington dip my front wheel in the atlantic ocean and ended up at the pacific thirty five centuries mark back-to-back we averaged 100 miles a day never had a place plan to stay always trust the lord hope something up for us the model that ministry was teaching Christ through bikes you know my bicycle became a part of my life because it became a part of my faith and trusting God and I've ridden thousands of miles since the summer of nineteen sixty-nine a couple years ago or last summer with God from blank gary barnes i'll tell more about that damn it it as well yeah I want to say four things about a bicycle this morning and I hope they encourage you and remind you of what is basic a bicycle is a basic tool most of the world uses it for transportation I use it for pleasure and stayin in shape but it reminds me of some basic truths money or motion and they do cost money motion and energy you get on a bicycle and that power in your legs is transferred to that crankshaft goes into the the chain ring back to chained to this rear wheel and it spins and it creates motion our energy as Christians comes from the word of god it's a reminder I sit there and pedal and I'm reminded that the Word of God is my energy this book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth but you shall meditate in a day and night so that you might be careful to do all that is written in it for then your way she'll be made prosperous and you'll be successful you don't live your life on your own James one received the word and planted which is able to save your souls jesus said in Matthew for everything I do proceeds out of the mouth of God we're not here just to eat and drink we're here to be energized by God's Spirit in God's Word the bicycle reminds me of that kind of energy reminds me of balance remember it wasn't long ago my kids were little we learned her they learn to ride a bicycle as much as cycling was ingrained in my life you can imagine the joy I hadn't seen those little kids go for the first time I remember running behind our bicycle holding the seat you know they first tried training wheels and then they rode took them off and I grabbed ahold of their seat down the alley at their grandparents place and I remember the thrill of seeing my kids go for the first time trailing them sin case they fell but pretty soon they had it they need to hold their balance and you know that's just like you and me jesus said we should love the Lord our God with all our heart our soul in our mind it's not just a hard thing it's not a mind thing it's a body thing Paul praising Philippians 120 for Christ's to be exalted in his body and one of the great cries that we all need is people to be balance balance in their preaching their study their exercise their relationship with their spouse their family a bicycle reminds me that life is a balanced event you can't go this way too much or you're going to fall you can't go around a corner too far out of control I remember I was coming down a deep as steepest sent out in Montana on that cross country trip and the group leader told us you guys can't go around this corner too fast well I was young and reckless and I thought I could do anything in a bicycle and I come screaming down this mountain about 55 60 mile an hour and he's standing down there waving his arms yelling slowed-down how slow down well I hit the brakes too late and I thought my life is going to go over a 500-foot cliff I don't know how I made it around there maybe was my mother's prayers or whatever but you know you gotta stay balanced you can't live out of control you can't throw your life into ministry at the expense of your marriage or your family or your own personal life direction is on a bicycle you got to be going somewhere we're in a bike well unless you're on a spin class or an indoor cycle but then you're not going anywhere but in a bicycle it takes you somewhere you're on a journey you have a destination I'm reminded of Paul in Romans 8 for whom he foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the image of his son we're going somewhere every experience we have in life God is using to shape us to be like his son that's our destination I hit the road and I ride and Gary I remember that all the time I know where I'm going sometimes I take a different turn just to have an adventure but I know where I'm going and I know my destination I know what's in front of me Leon Morris says in his great commentary on romans you know Romans 8 29 he says God's plan is for us to be exactly like his son not that we should muddle along and modest respectability let me tell you there's a destination in life and it is to be like Jesus reminds me the story of Albert Einstein Minh built Billy Graham Einstein was on a train conductor was coming down the aisle snapping tickets and Einstein couldn't find his ticket so the conductor said don't worry mr. Einstein I know you paid for your ticket he's still scrambling around for it now don't worry I've got you know I'm press trust you you're brilliant man I know you bought your ticket so he goes down the card he gets to the end of the cart and it's about ready to change into a new car he looks back and Einstein is down on his floor down on the floor and his hands and knees scrambling for his ticket conductor runs back again and says mr. Einstein what are you doing he's I'm trying to find my ticket why's that I need to know where I'm going Billy Graham told that story at a luncheon given his honor just a few years ago at Asheville North Carolina he bought a new suit for the occasion and when he stood up to speak he said you know I thank you for all of this he said I want you to know I even bought a new suit for the occasion he said my wife thinks I get a little bit slovenly in my older years so for this occasion I have a new suit and this suit reminds me of the story I just told you with Einstein he said let me end it this way he said when you I bought this suit not only for this occasion but for one other occasion what's that well I'm going to be buried this soon he said when you walked by my casket on the day I die he says don't think I'm here and don't remember this suit but remember that I'm with Jesus because that's my destination let me tell you a second thing a bicycle reminds me of its the value of a friend and a team i mentioned mark for how many years mark we were racquetball partners we played two or three times a week we were classmates together we took a number of things together mark and I were like this and we prayed for each other in years since let me tell you his friendship means a lot to me meant a lot to me then it means a lot to me now you develop great friendships on a bicycle you head out there's a companionship as you ride side by side when I take off on a Saturday morning with a group of guys we ride side by side we take our journey together carrying on lots of conversations back and forth building great memories we share all of life together as we train and as we ride we work for each other you're riding along and a long straightaway maybe a slight in hill and there's a stiff breeze coming at you and my the wind eats you up in a bicycle I'd rather ride up a mountain then into the wind on some days but you know what happens you start trading places with your companion I like to ride with Gary I don't do it enough but I could just tuck in behind his wheel because he's an awesome writer awesome I wished I could ride a bike like Gary but may I just duck in behind him and I want to stay in his rear rear wheel and he'll take me anywhere I want to go he breaks the win he he paves the way and I'm just coasting along on his rear wheel I remember the illustration we were on a long 15 mile Coast if you can believe this in Montana 1969 it was a long Coast and we'd come down two by two and here's what we do the guy in the rear because the front guy is separating the wind you pick up speed and you coast right around this first guy and you get in the point and you lead and he comes around you for for a half an hour we just kept trading places like that you know that's what a friendship is like I think of a team with Lance Armstrong he's got a team his team rides on his right and his left there in front behind let me tell you you can't live life by yourself wherever you are you can't live in your marriage you can't live in your family as a dad learning to share my life with my adult kids I can't live by myself you can't live by yourself here you can't do it as a faculty member you can't do as a student you can't do it as a pastor if you do you will die the team is there to protect you the peloton is it moves along it creates this massive draft and you just ride and enjoy it it's tremendous the pace line you see the time trials and the Tour de France those guys can ride faster in a pace line than they could ever write in their own you know why that is because they keep helping each other that front guile lead for 30 seconds peel off and come back the next guy steps right in and rides like crazy striving for the prize the cause for which Jesus laid hold of me let me tell you can accomplish a lot as a team do not do not under any circumstances live life by yourself Jesus mark 314 he chose twelve men to be with him to take them along for the ride and what a ride those three years must have been the third thing that bicycle teaches me is the value of hardships and mountains well Gary died last summer now this is a funny story we rode L'Alpe d'Huez together was Gary and me and steve howard another friend we were over there for the Tour de France L'Alpe d'Huez is the famous time trial with 21 switchbacks where Lance Armstrong blue yah know Rick and the whole field away by almost three minutes that day absolutely amazing stunning well Gary and I ride baby the first 300 yards of this mountain together and then Gary go zoom way up across the mountain two days before that I rode Mont von to Lance Armstrong said it's the highest mountain that he ever ridden in the tour the hardest you know you're up a mountain and you say why in a worry my deal with this it's crazy why do people punish themselves well let me tell you it's there it's a challenge and the view at the top is breathtaking I will never forget the view overlap duez with you and Stephen our picture there the view is absolutely stunning looking over the rhone valley it's absolutely exquisite do you know I have never talked to a person who has persevered in his Christian faith who has not who has been through tremendous hardships and this is the story repeatedly I'd go through it all over again because of its value in my life had breakfast with a man in our church yes just yesterday morning talking about struggles he's been through and as we end breakfast and have a short time of Prayer he says how I wouldn't trade anything for the last five years I see sandy here my dear friend the mountains people go through losing a spouse I can recount the times I've been with people pouring my life into people a spouse who's ready to go to heaven and they're ready to meet the Lord saying goodbye to those on earth a spouse who starts a new track on a new journey all by themselves trusting God somebody comes here to Dallas seminary your kind of scared to death that's the way I was I didn't know what was going to happen in my life you're at a crossroads trying to make a decision where God's going to take you it's heart-rending at times waiting patiently it's like climbing Mont Ventoux or loud duez go on back and fourth the pain in your legs burns you say why am i doing God why do you do this to me just a few nights ago Vicki and I had in our home a couple from New Orleans where our church has been very involved we've helped resettle 72 different families and apartments trying to establish follow up on them outfitting these apartments very involved feeding people every night of the week it's amazing one of these couple stayed with us and she SAT with me and our back patio she and her husband and I listened to her bitter tears for three hours as she questioned why did God take it all the way she wasn't a believer great opportunity to share the hope and security of Christ but a mountain Paul reminds us that we need to endure hardship let me tell you're going to go through deep part deep dark nights of the soul personally you'll do it maritally you'll do it in your ministry you'll do it dr. to sing where are you I'll never forget he's saying in a Bible class but my memories are rich from all the guys who are here when I was here he said to me don't ever go into the ministry if you can do something else you know at the age of 56 I have a better understanding of what that meant I'm bright-eyed and bushy-tailed let me tell you the ministry is tough they're hard things that happen they're hard things relationally they're hard things that happen in people's lives I stand and preach and you wonder what the mountain is that's behind everybody's eyes sit and listening to you there's a mountain there somewhere there's a deep hard mountain that's got to be climb my bicycle brings that to mine and I ducked down I hold those handlebars tight and I start pedaling like crazy all the while aiming for the top I'm teaching through the book of Philippians right now project joy we caught it's a 50-day journey through the book we've divided the book up into 50 different sections people from our church sandy wrote one just last week on for me to live is Christ to die is gain and we celebrate that let me tell you a Paul had a deep sense of hardship of overcoming hardship up climbing that mountain and that bike always reminds me of that the last thing I want to remind me of us about and riding cycles you got to finish well you know if you're not into cycling you don't understand this but you know when these guys finish the tour the Tour de France these hundreds of guys they come screaming down I want you to point out two things number one these guys race like crazy towards the finish I don't know how they do it Gary I mean if you watch them their bicycle is going back like this I mean you talk about balance but those guys are in perfect control their bicycle and they are screaming towards that finish line with everything they have it reminds me of the importance of finishing well wherever you are the other thing I want to focus on in that finish if there's a group of riders all together it doesn't matter if they're stretched out here as long as this auditorium or longer if they're all together you know what happens they all get the same time they all get the same time as the front guy it doesn't matter whether they're 15 or 20 seconds behind long as they're in the same peloton they all get the same time reminds me of the importance of finishing well in life give it your best I don't know what your stages are every second counts every mile counts every day counts every week counts every semester counts you're fixing to get into the hard time of the semester let me tell you these competing assignments will just make their own mountains in your life he's how am I going to get it all done let me tell you go back to the word be balanced I'll never forget Joe Bailey a mentor of mine saying how don't let school ever get in the way of a good education don't use that with your professors but use it in your heart you know what does God want me to learn it's more important than a lot of other competing interest out there that I have to satisfy have to listen to him well I have to finish well I have to learn to balance demands with my wife my kids the church my my body my exercise whatever it is Jesus did that every night he spent time every day he spent time with his father he said I do nothing on my own initiative but everything I do I do to please the father that's the kind of relationship we have whether on a mountain weather on a downhill cruise where we're just and taking in the scenery and join a screaming descent that's what life is so may I remind you number one excel in the basics number to be a friend I have good friends from my years in Dallas mark is here Ronnie Stevens is in Budapest Hungary just came back from Iraq Bob barrows in Pawleys Island South Carolina I'd go down the list of ten guys who have marked my lives relationships with profs that have kept me on line that will last forever number three embracing suffering and hardship and number for the last one finish strong may I remind us all of the great words the writer Hebrews said therefore since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us let us lay aside every encumbrance and this sin which so easily entangles us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame and finished the race at the right hand of the Father ride ride like the wind enjoy the ride and grow to be like Christ Lord bless this time bless these words remind and encourage all of us to stay focused on Jesus who to know is life eternal and life here in his name we pray you

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